Verizon confirms early smartphone upgrade program Edge coming August 25

Verizon Edge teaser

DroidLife on Monday leaked Verizon’s upcoming early upgrade initiative that some critics readily labeled a knee-jerk reaction to AT&T’s Next initiative,in and of itself a hastily created response to T-Mobile’s Jump, arguably “the best upgrade program in America” (in T-Mobile’s parlance).

Ending speculation, the Big Red telco during today’s earnings call officially announced the rumored program dubbed Edge. Available only to subscribers who are on one of Verizon’s Share Everything plans, Edge is being pitched as a “flexible equipment payment plan” which lets you spread the retail price of a new phone over a 24-month period…

The crux: paying 50 percent of the retail device cost makes you eligible for a new phone in as soon as six months – provided your existing handset is still in working condition and you turn it in, that is.

The plan also allows for installment payments so you could pick up a brand spanking new smartphone and pay for it over 24 monthly installments. You’ll recall that Verizon back in April launched a Device Payment Plan for smartphones that spreads the cost over twelve monthly payments.

CNET explains the Edge:

So after six months, a customer would have only paid off a quarter of the price of the device. Another quarter is owed if the customer opts to upgrade after six months. Given the price, the more cost-effective option would be to upgrade after 12 monthly payments.

Verizon’s finance boss Fran Shammo confirmed the Edge plan on conference call with investors earlier this morning. The carrier announced activating 3.9 million iPhones during the June quarter, adding a million net new customer connections and a profit jump.

At post time, a sign up form had surfaced on Verizon’s Edge web page.

Enjoy the freedom and flexibility to have the latest phone on the market – all when YOU decide. With Verizon Edge, it’s not about keeping up, it’s about staying ahead.

The plan is “coming soon,” the carrier hinted.

According to a media release, the Edge plan goes into effect on August 25, available to customers on Share Everything plans.

“There are no long-term service contracts, finance charges or upgrade fees with Verizon Edge,” the carrier said. “Every six months, as long as 50 percent of the cost of the phone has been paid, you can upgrade to the newest basic or smartphone available”.

Edge is similar to AT&T’s Next thingie, which has been largely panned for not removing the subsidy cost built into AT&T’s rate plans.

The outspoken T-Mobile CEO John Legere was quick to take to Twitter, acknowledging Next basically forces people to pay for the same phone twice.

T-Mobile’s Jump program requires a $10 monthly fee, which also includes insurance against theft, loss and damage. In return, T-Mobile users can upgrade their device twice every twelve months after they’ve been in the Jump program for at least six months.

The Jump plan went into effect Sunday, July 14.